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BJP ally JD(U) says won’t help the ordinance for Ram temple in Ayodhya

BJP’s Bihar ally JD(U) has stated that if the party brings an ordinance on temple construction in Ayodhya, it will not support it. While JD(U)’s organizational general secretary RCP Singh said his party would not help any ordinance on a temple, JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor said BJP would win elections without “raising temple issue” and the saffron party’s popularity had surely slumped from its 2014 position.

The state BJP unit, however, countered its alliance partner to say that a “temple would be built soon” as it has been part of BJP’s manifesto.

JD(U) organizational general secretary RCP Singh stated, “If BJP brings an ordinance on temple construction, we are not going to assist it. We have always conversed about social cohesion and communal Harmon.” This is the first time a JD(U) leader is speaking publicly on the temple matter.

Kishor, meanwhile, reviewing a question on the renewed demand for Ram temple construction at Ayodhya, said, “BJP can win the election (2019 polls) without raising the temple matter. It had done so in 2014. I was helping the party then. It has surely shown a slump from 2014 position but it is still stronger than its positions before 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls”. He, however, did not hint at JD(U) redrawing its strategy in wake of Assembly poll outcomes in five states. “The situation is not so alarming for BJP”, said Kishor.

JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar, commenting on the matter of communalism, said, “NDA in Bihar has been the following development agenda set by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The CM has often talked about not creating any compromise with issues of communalism, even recently at a Kishanganj function.”

Questioned if the JD(U) has become more aggressive after BJP’s poor show in recent Assembly polls, Neeraj Kumar said, “Each poll has a message for winners and losers. As for Bihar, our aim has to be on development with peace and communal harmony.”

Bihar BJP spokesperson Rajib Ranjan, however, countered its alliance partner. “Everyone knows temple construction has been part of our manifesto. The construction will begin soon…current assembly election results will not make us withdraw our strategy. Assembly polls are fought on local matters. We got more votes than Congress in Madhya Pradesh and only 47,000-odd votes behind in Rajasthan. Our PM is still popular. Prashant Kishor is not right in saying that we have got weaker from 2014 position”.